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Brodeur returns to practice

Possible for Saturday's game in Carolina

Thursday, 02.17.2011 / 3:56 PM ET / News
By Eric Marin
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Brodeur returns to practice
Brodeur won't rush progress on his knee sprain.
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Martin Brodeur was back at practice Thursday, but will not play Friday when the Devils host the Rangers.

Brodeur, who has missed four games with a knee sprain, didn’t rule out Saturday’s contest in Carolina. He’s happy with the progress he’s made, though he plans on taking a cautious approach.

“I think when you’re working on injury, especially for a goalie with the knees and stuff, groins and all that stuff, you almost have to be a little selfish because you have to make sure that you can’t re-injure yourself,” Brodeur said. “That’s my only concern: go in too early and hurt myself again. Next thing you know, the step back’s even longer.”

He reported no concerns about his mobility.

“I’ve been skating for a few days, so I know that shouldn’t be an issue,” he said. "It’s the reflex and reaction that I was looking for more, and me being able to get there and do things. It was good. I didn’t do much in practice, it was mostly afterwards.”

Brodeur is 8-1-1 in his last 10 starts. He was hurt in the first period of the Devils’ 4-1 win in Montreal on Feb. 6.

In his absence, the Devils (23-30-4) have continued their surge. They won their fifth in a row by beating Carolina 3-2 on Wednesday.

Johan Hedberg made 25 saves to pick up his 10th victory as New Jersey improved to 13-1-2 in the second half.

“It’s been great, just to see the guys’ faces, guys’ attitudes,” Brodeur said. “I think it’s been a lot of fun, and I think regardless of what happens from now on, we’ve got our game back and we’ve got the fun in the game back. That’s what we were looking for when we were struggling to try and get to that atmosphere. We’ve done it and we’ll try to build on this and keep it going because this is something that’s a great opportunity for us to do something pretty cool.”

The Devils trail the eighth-place Hurricanes by 12 points with 25 games remaining. A playoff spot would be a dream finish to a regular season in which they were once 19 games under .500.

“It will be if we’re able to get it done,” Brodeur said. “Now it’s just part of what we do. It’s part of what I think Jacques [Lemaire] has been building for the last couple of months. We can’t get overexcited about this. The Islanders are one point behind, Ottawa’s [five] points behind. We’re still 12 points out. It’s not a dream situation, but I think it’s fun to be part of something like a roll. We’ve rolled the other side, and trust me, it’s not fun.”

Carolina hosts the Flyers on Friday. By the time the Devils reach Raleigh, they could have a shot at dropping the deficit to eight points. Fortunately, Hedberg has been playing so well that Brodeur won’t need to rush himself back.

“We need to win games and he’s playing well now,” said Brodeur. “For me it’s a matter of getting myself ready, and when I’m called upon, go and try to do the job.”

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 51 38 9 4 166 114 80
2 FLA 52 31 15 6 143 115 68
3 NYR 52 29 18 5 148 134 63
4 TBL 51 29 18 4 137 118 62
5 BOS 52 28 18 6 151 137 62
6 NYI 51 27 18 6 143 127 60
7 DET 52 26 18 8 130 131 60
8 PIT 51 26 18 7 132 130 59
9 NJD 53 26 20 7 119 120 59
10 CAR 54 24 21 9 130 142 57
11 MTL 54 26 24 4 143 143 56
12 PHI 51 23 19 9 121 133 55
13 OTT 53 24 23 6 148 165 54
14 BUF 53 21 26 6 120 139 48
15 TOR 51 19 23 9 117 140 47
16 CBJ 54 21 28 5 135 168 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
L. Stempniak 53 15 24 7 39
M. Cammalleri 42 14 24 15 38
K. Palmieri 53 20 15 3 35
A. Henrique 51 17 16 14 33
T. Zajac 45 7 18 6 25
D. Schlemko 45 6 9 -9 15
A. Larsson 53 2 11 12 13
D. Severson 50 1 12 0 13
A. Greene 53 4 6 2 10
J. Josefson 42 3 7 -13 10
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 23 15 6 .929 2.03
K. Kinkaid 3 5 1 .909 2.52
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